Meridian Star

April 4, 2013

MLT season to close with ‘Bye Bye Birdie’

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     The Meridian Little Theatre ends its 80th season with “Bye Bye Birdie” which opens May 16 and runs through May 22. The performance is a final tribute to long time director, Jimmy Pigford.  

    “Bye Bye Birdie” was the first show Pigford directed for MLT in 1965.  

    The performance is under the direction of Ronnie Miller.

     “Birdie is one of the most captivating musical comedy shows of our time," Miller said. "It is a satire done with the fondest affection. It gives an insight into the everyday life of the late 50s that is very much a part of us all, regardless of age. It is a show that will be enjoyed by all.”

    The cast consists of a group of seasoned MLT performers. Scott Stevens plays the lead role of Albert Peterson, owner of Almaelou Music Co. Noel Barefoot co-stars as his girlfriend and secretary Rose Alvaraz. Laura Huff is cast as Kim MacAfee, the girl to be kissed by Conrad Birdie — the teen idol played by Colton Tinsley.  

    The major supporting roles are: Penny McKinnis as Albert’s mother, Alma Peterson; Kim’s conventional parents are played by John Collins as Harry MacAfee and Amy Poole McMinn as Doris MacAfee; Jackson Palmer is cast as Kim’s younger brother, Randolph MacAfee;  Kim’s jealous boyfriend, Hugo Peabody, is played by Joshua Myers.

     The mayor of Sweet Apple, Ohio, where Conrad arrives to give his farewell kiss, was landed by Kevin Robinson and Leigh Anne Whittle as his wife, Edna; Gloria Maxwell is cast as Gloria Rasputin, Mrs. Peterson’s choice to replace Rosie as Albert’s secretary; Kim’s best friend and leader of the Birdie Fan Club, Ursula Merkle, was won by Katie Bruister. The role of Charles Maude, owner of Maude’s Roadside Retreat, is played by Scott Causey.

    Chorus members who portray various roles as teenagers and town folks include:  Debbie Hime, Daniel Johnson, Blake Barham, Zena Limerick, Scott Farmer, Derek Pouncey, Brittney Johnson,  Michael Edwards, Cynthia Rackley, Tana Clay, Annakatharine Rowland, Meg Patterson, Haley Rank, Kynsliegh Roberts, Bayleigh Roberts, Darby Shepherd, Lawson Freeman, Logan Hulvey, Carmen Hodges, Pearson Kelly, Trinity Copeland and Pearson Kelly.

    The Production Team for Birdie includes: Carol Merrell, Choreographer; David Benson, Music Director;  Carey Smith, Orchestra Conductor; Carol Sue Wiggins, Stage Manager; Katie Coleman and Clair Huff, Wardrobe Coordinators; Shannon Culpepper, Lighting Director; Anthony Godfrey and Alex DeRusha, Sound Directors; and Lucinda Pitts, Makeup Coordinator.